I took a little mini-Holiday from blogging over the last few days, which included a much needed three day weekend from work. Now, I need to catch up on a few things. Here are some quick thoughts on what transpired over the last few days:
1.) The Twins didn’t lose anyone in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft, but they did lose LHP Winston Marquez and RHP Angelo Sanchez in the AAA phase. That means they are both gone, with no possibility of being returned. Unfortunately, as noted in the comments to my Rule 5 predictions post, there isn’t any sure way (that I know of, at least) to determine which players are protected from selection in the minor league phases of the draft. It’s not terribly surprising that these guys were eligible in the AAA phase, simply because the bulk of their performances in 2009 came all the way down in Elizabethton. In other words, they’re miles away from being even AAA ready, let alone ready for the show. Both of them have decent K rates (especially Marquez, who is also left-handed), so they’re intriguing players — but I won’t be losing sleep over the loss of either.
2.) I was completely wrong about Boof Bonser’s chances of being traded, apparently. I’m frankly stunned that the Red Sox bothered to pick him up, and I’d be incredibly surprised if he managed to stick on their roster. The best news for the Twins was that they got something back in exchange for Bonser — and since I didn’t expect ANY return on Bonser, I’m thrilled. Chris Province, a RHP taken by Boston in the 4th round of the 2007 draft, isn’t going to blow anyone away. Still, he had solid numbers in relief with AA Portland last year (2.60 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, 55-32 K-BB), so there’s a chance he’ll turn into something. Again, the biggest thing here is that they got ANYTHING back for Bonser. If he had gone into Spring Training with the Twins, I think he would have ended up being cut, and the Twins wouldn’t have received any return. This is a positive.
3.) I know a lot of people wanted the Twins to non-tender Jesse Crain, but I don’t think there was any reason to give up on him. Yes, Crain struggled early in 2009, earning a demotion to AAA. His performance in August and September, however, was extremely solid — particularly September, when Crain had a 0.00 ERA in 13.1 innings over 15 games, allowed just 5 hits and 6 walks (a sub 1.00 WHIP), and struck out 7. His August was more pedestrian, but still good enough to warrant a spot in the ‘pen. I don’t know whether Crain will have success in 2010, but I still firmly believe that Crain has the goods to be a solid big league pitcher. There are weaker links in the Twins bullpen to address, and I’m glad the Twins are keeping Crain around.